Caroline Sue Sternberg - #122078
Actions Affecting Eligibility to Practice Law
Effective DateDescriptionCase NumberResulting Status
Disciplinary and Related Actions
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Discipline w/actual suspension
Not Eligible To Practice Law
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State Bar Court Cases
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California Bar Journal Discipline Summaries
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July 30, 2009
CAROLINE SUE STERNBERG [#122078], 58, of Encino was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on two years of probation with a 30-day actual uspension and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect July 30, 2009.The State Bar Court found that Sternberg allowed the balance in her client trust account to drop below
the required amount several times. She had received about $39,000 on behalf of her client and after fees and costs were deducted, she should have maintained a balance of $24,854.50 in her trust account.Her husband, who also was her office manager, handled her firms business dealings, and without her knowledge, he used the account to pay personal
and business expenses. Sternberg, who was the only authorized signatory on the account, wrote few checks and did not regularly use her trust account or reconcile bank statements.Although the court found much of her clients testimony not believable, it reluctantly found that Sternberg committed acts of moral turpitude by allowing a misappropriation of funds. She did not intend to do anything wrong but her gross negligence in handling her trust account during this time
requires a finding of moral turpitude, wrote bar court Judge Richard Honn.Sternberg has no discipline record, cooperated with the bars investigation and offered extensive testimony about her good character and substantial volunteer work.